Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Living with Iran and Its Nukes?

Can you imagine any of the leading presidential contenders--Democratic or Republican--saying this? From AP:

Abizaid: World could abide nuclear Iran
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON - Every effort should be made to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but failing that, the world could live with a nuclear-armed regime in Tehran, a recently retired commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East said Monday.

John Abizaid, the retired Army general who headed Central Command for nearly four years, said he was confident that if Iran gained nuclear arms, the United States could deter it from using them.

"Iran is not a suicide nation," he said. "I mean, they may have some people in charge that don't appear to be rational, but I doubt that the Iranians intend to attack us with a nuclear weapon."

The Iranians are aware, he said, that the United States has a far superior military capability.

"I believe that we have the power to deter Iran, should it become nuclear," he said, referring to the theory that Iran would not risk a catastrophic retaliatory strike by using a nuclear weapon against the United States.

"There are ways to live with a nuclear Iran," Abizaid said in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank. "Let's face it, we lived with a nuclear Soviet Union, we've lived with a nuclear China, and we're living with (other) nuclear powers as well."

Lawmakers and presidential candidates routinely declare that living with a "nuclear Iran" is not acceptable. Well, if you say that and mean it, then you are committing yourself to military action if persuasion and sanctions fail. Certainly, if a major presidential candidate were to take a position similar to Abizaid's, he or she would be mercilessly blasted for weakness and accused of lily-livered appeasement.

By the way, Abizaid is not the only military expert to take this realistic view of Iran. Retired Lt. General William Odom, who ran the National Security Agency for President Ronald Reagan, has expressed similar sentiments. (See here.) Yet such voices are rarely--if ever--heard in the political debate concerning Iran. After all, who has the guts to acknowledge that the world might indeed have to figure out how to handle a nuclear Iran? It does take more courage to say that than to rattle the saber.

Posted by David Corn at September 18, 2007 12:11 PM


Gerald said...

Yes, Iran is not prone to suicide!!!!! But, Hitler Bush is prone to mass murders and war crimes!!!!! Guess who wins out in the end with Hitler Bush as the emperor???

Gerald said...

What truly amazes me is the glee in the eyes of Nazi Americans as they see the carnage and slaughter of Iranians.

Gerald said...

By Bill Gallagher
DETROIT -- It was certainly one of President George W. Bush's worst performances, and that's saying a lot. Well past his bedtime, he spoke to the nation last Thursday, looking and sounding like a sedated automaton, reading the lines for his latest justification for staying the course in Iraq and telling the American people to consider the preposterous request to have patience and trust his judgment.

Using Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker for convenient cover, Bush assured us that "conditions in Iraq are improving," that "we are seizing the initiative from the enemy" and that "the troop surge is working."

The purpose of the surge was to provide "breathing time" to nurture political stability and national reconciliation in Iraq. It is a self-evident absurdity to suggest that is happening or that the continued presence of U.S. troops will transform and pacify the society the invasion and occupation so thoroughly shattered.

The endless blather and ridiculous measurements the administration toadies use to claim the surge is working dodge the compelling, salient fact that Bush has no strategy to end his failed and futile war, nor does he have any strategy whatsoever for quelling the violence his war of choice unleashed.

Just last month, Crocker admitted Iraq remains politically torn, telling McClatchy Newspapers,

"The progress on the national level has been extremely disappointing and frustrating to all concerned -- to us, to the Iraqi leadership itself."

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, returned from Iraq in August after assessing the stated surge purpose of giving the Iraqi leadership time to reach a political settlement. Levin's conclusions were bleak: "They have failed to do that. They have totally and utterly failed."

The Iraqi people, however, should not be blamed for this failure. It is the direct consequence of violence begetting violence, destroyed infrastructure, disease, deprivation and the chaos the American invasion brought to the suffering nation. The sheer incompetence of the occupation then fed the insurgency and fostered political and sectarian strife.

In his speech, Bush mentioned that "too many citizens are being killed by terrorists and death squads." But he failed to attribute any casualties to U.S. military action and he didn't quantify the extent of the slaughter.

Only upbeat narratives and numbers fit into Bush's claims of success. He said, "Our troops in Iraq are performing brilliantly" and that "they have captured or killed more than 1,500 enemy fighters since January."

Who are these "enemy fighters"? Bush, of course, now uses the al-Qaeda label incessantly in his unrelenting lie, conflating the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia didn't exist on Sept. 11, yet we now are told defeating this group -- spawned by the U.S. invasion -- is why we must remain in Iraq.

Bush and his supporters always ignore or play down the bloody cost of this brutal war for the Iraqi people. Their suffering is an afterthought. "We don't do body counts," Gen. Tommy "The Jerk" Franks famously said after he conquered Baghdad and went home to smoke cigars and play golf.

But others are counting, and the numbers are staggering. A British polling organization now pegs Iraqi civilian deaths in more than four years of war at 1.2 million people. The ORB poll surveyed Iraqi adults and determined nearly one in two households in Baghdad had lost at least one family member to war-related violence, and nationwide 22 percent of the households had suffered at least one death. Do we really expect "political stability" when people are enduring such promiscuous violence?

Last year, when the British medical journal "Lancet" put the number of Iraqi deaths at 654,965, Iraqi officials called the count "ridiculous" and Bush dismissed the number as "not credible" without challenging the methodology of the scientists who prepared the survey for the reputable publication.

In his speech, Bush made no mention of the more than 2.5 million Iraqi refugees who have fled their homes. That number continues to grow, especially among professionals and the more educated. Bush never mentions his war has virtually eradicated the Christian population in Iraq, a faith community rooted there two thousand years ago.

Vice President Dick Cheney followed his dauphin Bush's performance, chiming in for an unending U.S. military presence in Iraq. Speaking in Grand Rapids, Mich., last Friday, Cheney claimed, "Beyond question, the troop surge has achieved some solid results." He went on to claim bloodshed would follow the withdrawal of U.S troops on any timetable other than what he and Bush have divined and that we must remain for the long haul to thwart terrorism.

"In all the calls we've heard for an American withdrawal from Iraq, these negative consequences haven't really been denied, they've simply been ignored," Cheney said. This crap from the man who both denied and ignored clear warnings that the war in Iraq would create negative consequences and make the United States less safe and secure.

The most telling moment in last week's "Save the Surge" campaign came when Sen. John Warner, R.-Va., asked Petraeus if the war in Iraq was making American safer. "Sir, I don't know, actually," Petraeus responded. "I haven't actually sat down and sorted it out in my own mind."

The truth is we are not safer in any measurable way, spending $3 billion a week, wasting countless lives in a monumental historic debacle. San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford wrote, "Iraq is, was and forever will be our very own massive strategic blunder, a failed land grab for position and power in a tinderbox region defined by furious instability and corruption and death. ... Iraq has always been a war between our dueling national identities, a battle over how we are to move and breathe and behave in the new millennium. Are we really this violently paranoid bully, this rogue pre-emptive screw-em-all ideological war machine defined by the dystopian Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld vision of permanent, ongoing global conflict?"

Or are we something better: a nation committed to peace, willing to change the failed strategy in Iraq by ending the war that should never have been started in the first place.

Gerald said...

A blood thirsty and violent empire can never feel safe because violence begets violence.

We will forever have to watch over our shoulders to see who will react toward us in violence.


Gerald said...

Who are these "enemy fighters"? Bush, of course, now uses the al-Qaeda label incessantly in his unrelenting lie, conflating the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia didn't exist on Sept. 11, yet we now are told defeating this group -- spawned by the U.S. invasion -- is why we must remain in Iraq.

Bush and his supporters always ignore or play down the bloody cost of this brutal war for the Iraqi people. Their suffering is an afterthought. "We don't do body counts," Gen. Tommy "The Jerk" Franks famously said after he conquered Baghdad and went home to smoke cigars and play golf.

Gerald said...

While I was waiting to have my device checked at the university hospital, I read an article by Paul Krugman and his assessment of Greenspam. Greenspam said that Hitler Bush is fically irresponsible. What Greenspam failed to say was that he, Greenspam, was a cheerleader for Hitler Bush's fiscal irresponsibility.

Yes, Hitler Bush is fiscally irresponsible but so is Hitler Greenspam fiscally irresponsible. Birds of a feather flock together!!!

Gerald said...

I would hope that soon I can change my serious views of our world and its problems to a comedy act so I can incessantly laugh. Laughter helps a person's health.

Will the comedy act be one of the Keystone Cops, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, or Larry, Moe, and Curly. I tend to lean more toward the Keystone Cops because there are more players in this comedy act just like there are more players in the Hitler Bush regime.

We must try to laugh sometime during the day at the lunacy of the Hitler Bush regime!!!

Gerald said...

Killing a man in defense of an idea is not defending an idea; it is killing a man.
– Jean -Luc Godard

Hitler Bush does not like people who criticize him so he will try to get even. That is why we have so many Iraqis slaughtered and soon we will see the slaughter of Iranians. Hitler Bush wants to leave a legacy that he knows everything but he is the stupidest person who has ever been born.

capt said...

The lies of Alan Greenspan

Alan Greenspan has come back from the tomb of history to correct the record. He did not make any mistakes in his 18-year tenure as Federal Reserve chairman. He did not endorse the regressive Bush tax cuts of 2001 that pumped up the federal deficits and aggravated inequalities. He did not cause the housing bubble that is now in collapse. He did not ignore the stock market bubble that subsequently melted away and cost investors $6 trillion. He did not say the Iraq war is "largely about oil."

Check the record. These are all lies.

Greenspan's testimony endorsing the Bush tax cuts was extremely influential but now he wants to run away from it. In the instance of Iraq, Greenspan is actually correcting his own memoir, "The Age of Turbulence," which just came out. Last weekend, newspapers reported provocative snippets from the book, including this: "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."

Wow, talk about your "inconvenient truth." Greenspan was blithely acknowledging what official Washington has always denied and the news media faithfully ignored. "Blood for oil." No, no, no, that's not what he meant, Greenspan corrected in a follow-up interview (with Bob Woodward in the Sept. 17 Washington Post). He was only saying that "taking out Saddam was essential" for "oil security" and the global economy.

Are you confused? Welcome to the world of slippery truth that Greenspan has always lived in. He was the Maestro, as Woodward's loving portrait dubbed him. Wall Street loved the chairman best because the traders and bankers knew he was always on their side and would come to their rescue. The major news media treated him like an Old Testament prophet. Whatever the chairman said was carved on stone tablets, even when it didn't make any sense, as it often didn't.

Some of us, who followed his tracks more closely, were not so kind. Harry Reid, now the Democratic Senate leader, said Greenspan was "one of the biggest political hacks in Washington." Amen. I called him "the one-eyed chairman" who could always spot reasons to stomp on the real economy of work and production, but was utterly blind to the destructive chaos in the financial system. No matter. The adoration of him was nearly universal.

Until now. The economic consequences of his rule are accumulating, and even the dullest financial reporters are stumbling on crumbs of truth about Greenspan's legendary reign. It sowed profound and dangerous imbalances in the U.S. economy. That's what happens when government power tips the balance in favor of capital over labor, favoring super-rich over middle class and poor, then holds it there for nearly a generation.

Things get out of whack and now the country is paying enormously. A pity reporters and politicians didn't have the nerve to ask these questions when Greenspan was in power.

He retired only a year ago, but is already trying to revise the history - to explain away blunders that are now a financial crisis facing his successor; to rearrange the facts in exculpatory ways; to deny his right-wing ideological bias and his raw partisanship in behalf of the Bush Republicans.

The man is shrewd. He can see the conservative era he celebrated and helped to impose upon the American economy is in utter ruin. He is trying to get some distance from it before the blood splashes all over his reputation. Of course, he also came back to cash in - an $8 million advance for a book that is sure to be a huge bestseller.

I don't want to be unkind, but Greenspan could have avoided all the embarrassing questions if his book was posthumous. I haven't read it yet. I have a hunch I am not going to like it.


*****end of clip*****

Greenspan has always been a tool (IMHO)


David B. Benson said...

I won't bother to read it.

Not even a library copy...

David B. Benson said...

Another 1.8 million affected by extreme weather. This time in central-east China...

capt said...

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